April 12, 2022 | Sam Choi
This year’s Spruce Lake trip is a bit different from previous years. First off, I can’t believe we have not been to Spruce Lake since October of 2019. Also, we will be going in the Spring instead of the Fall which is a change from previous years. I can only recall one other year we went in the Spring since I have been going on this trip (My first trip being way back in 2007). We will only be taking the 7th and 8th grade who have little to no prior Spruce Lake experience. However, as they say, more things change, more they stay the same.
I also like the fact that Spruce Lake is a common thread that binds our student community, past and present. We have siblings that are separated by years but share a bond over their experience on Jacob’s Ladder.
Here is something I wrote a couple years ago but feel it is still relevant today:
Or for that matter, why have an outdoor, overnight field trip at all?
Having attended traditional public schools my whole life, this is a question I could envision myself asking when I was younger.
Other questions that would have popped into my head:
I don’t know if anyone has these questions or if this blog post addresses or answers any of them, but I will write what I know.
If you are like me, technology is a part of your life. Smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc are all wonderful tools and capable of amazing things. However, it is also able to draw us away from being present and fully engaged. This is probably doubly true for our middle schoolers who have grown up with all this technology. So by disconnecting them from the “digital world, we are challenging them and teaching them to be present in this one.
Being Present with Others
The climbing wall, the challenge course and the high ropes course are just a few of the times students will have the opportunity to help and encourage one another. Besides being present in the now, we want our students to be present with others. We want them to understand that to be a part of a community requires engagement with everyone involved. The different courses and “games” presented by Spruce Lake give our students this opportunity. One of my fondest memories of this trip is seeing our students tackle the high ropes course and overcome their fears and anxiousness with help of their classmates.
Being Present with Others and with God
Spruce Lake gives our students (and our chaperones) the chance to step away from our day to day urban setting and enjoy nature. This goes beyond just appreciating the flora and fauna of the Poconos. It involves learning about how to take care of the environment and how as humans and especially as christians we are called to be caretakers of God’s creation. It involves appreciating the presence of God in the beauty of the sunset and in the amazing clarity of the night sky. It involves being present with others and with God.